Day 23: Cedar Falls to Clarksville

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Cedar Falls, IA to Clarksville, IA (33 mi / 53 km)

We always brag that we’re used to getting up early and are very active and such. But it seems that when we get the opportunity to sleep in, we do. We knew that our trip to Clarksville would be less than 40 miles, so we slept in until about 10:30.

Seth kept on offering to take a day off because he has an excess of days, but we kept on saying that we were going to be leaving soon.

Not true. Seth took us to Hy-Vee to get coffee and a few things snacks for the road. He also took us to the bike shop to find out the best way to keep on going north. We decided to take a route through Austin, Minnesota. The bike guy helped us figure that out pretty much.

Seth tells us that Austin is a great place to go through because it is the home of the SPAM museum. Yes, SPAM made by Hormel in the 1930s. I looked it up online and its free and open all of the time.

We headed back to Seth and Holly’s and ate a few sandwiches and got on the road.

We went through UNI’s campus and headed out of town.

Still more wind, still more hills, still really hard.

It was still a long riding day. We come to Shell Rock and go into a really friendly bar and grill. We order a lot of food and a few drinks and are noting the difference between our current location and the Forman Grill bar. After stuffing ourselves, we hop on the road and ride up to the state park in Clarksville.

It is beautiful. Part of the river is dammed and water rushes down.

We set up camp and watch a mom and her son carry fire wood to their camp ground. He’s a little guy with a few pieces and is struggling, we encourage and watch.

We talked back and forth for a while and settle into making dinner.

From a distance it looks like they have set their chairs too near the fire and are about to go up in flames. So I hurry over and realize that it is an optical illusion, but it provides further conversation over our adventure. Her husband shows up and he is a Scout leader and his older 16-year-old son is in Scouts and they just were out on a long trip the week before. Really nice people.

We take some time to enjoy the view down at the river and then head up to bed.

Short miles, hard miles, good day.

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